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Photo Via New Tricks

Lately it seems more and more companies and organizations are hosting tweet chats for their customers and/or fans. The rules are simple, you tweet using the suggested hashtag and then, if you’re lucky, the company/person answers your question. Sounds good and easy right? Not so much.

Apparently the people of Twitter cannot be trusted! NYPD’s tweet chat went terribly wrong. The NFL commissioner’s tweet chat went terribly wrong.  Chicago Transit Authority is the most recent chat that went terribly wrong. And, there are several T.V. shows that host chats, which also go wrong.

Why do big name companies host tweet chats when they seem to be so controversy prone? I understand these companies want to reach their fans, but when tweet chats can get out of hand so quickly, is it worth it? I wonder what the value of these chats are to the organization. Sure, there are those fans that participate and have good intentions, but when the conversations go afoul, is it worth the effort?

Are these chats doing more harm than good?

Would you recommend a tweet chat for your client or organization?

Kelly Potts
Kelly Potts
A former HMA Public Relations employee.


  1. Alison Bailin says:

    My soap, Young & the Restless, has been reeling for months in the aftermath of the iconic Jeannie Cooper’s death followed by the departures of three fan favorites, Michael Muhney, Billy Miller and Michelle Safford. Fans have been in an uproar, going so far as to rent planes to sky-write their disapproval of the show’s direction (not kidding). So, it probably wasn’t the best idea to start their current show stars – especially those who had a hand in some of the firings – on tweet chats, or any chats for that matter. The forum gave fans the opportunity to rail against the stars, the network and the writers. And it wasn’t cathartic, it just made folks like me more annoyed.

  2. I think Tweet Chats are a great way to connect with your fans/followers/influencers, etc. But like any proactive communications strategy you need to evaluate the effort vs the intended results. You can’t control everything that happens during an online chat, but you can certainly have a team in place to monitor, take offline and respond to what may not appear to be productive content.

    But as my friend Jason Baer likes to say (to paraphrase), if your business stinks, social media isn’t your problem.

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